Tuesday, 18 August 2015

warming my heart with family time

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au
our daughter and her husband at the back and our son and his wife at the front
My good husband and I went up to the city a week or so ago to spend some time with our 'grown and flown' children. I don't appreciate how much I miss them until I get the chance to sit and talk and watch them all together - it just makes me day. 

We don't often get to see the two couples in the same place at the same time, and with their aversion to photographs, I realized that I didn't actually have a picture of the four of them together. To solve that dilemma I figured the way to any young married/mortgage paying person's heart is through a free lunch. As we all know, there is no such thing as a "free" lunch and this time it cost them the princely sum of squishing up together and smiling for their mother. After several really awful photos (the fault of the camera and it's user), this is the final result and I am so proud to be their mum!

The other benefit of the parent provided lunch was having the time to sit around and chat and relax and catch up on everyone's news and just to bask in family time. A lot of empty nesters have children living close by and get to see them regularly for family meal times and they pop in and out of each other's lives on a weekly basis. When you live a couple of hours apart and your children are busy all the time, those moments are rarer and I store them up in my heart for the spaces in between.


We had such a lovely time together and the laughter and story telling and sharing together is something I just love. My husband tells me that one of the main adjectives he would use to describe me is 'family focused' and I do really appreciate the time our children find in their lives to spend with us. Part of me wants to race up to the city every spare weekend, but I know that would be overkill on my part and I don't really need to be that enmeshed in their worlds. They are independent and we are very proud of that.

I am a huge proponent of the empty nest and can cite multiple benefits of being child free, but I will admit to a moment or two of sadness when we came home to our cats and the quiet and knowing that it will be another couple of months before we see the fledglings again. Our son was describing his first and only crash from a sugar high that he had after eating three huge slices of chocolate cheesecake at work, and I think that describes how I felt when I got home. All the "high" of being together followed by the silence of coming home. Fortunately all "crashes" are recovered from and it's back to normal life now for us - but I can't wait til we see them again next month!


15 comments:

  1. The sugar high and its crash: What a perfect way to describe time together with grown children and then the suddenness of the loss when they aren't around--again! Like you, my grown children do not live near me so those weekends or visits together have a heightened power to delight. We get on with our lives afterwards, but there is that moment or two before we do when we feel the loss so acutely.

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    1. yes, you've summed it up beautifully - I am more than happy in my empty nest, but I do love seeing them and there is that twinge of the heart strings when it's time to say goodbye again!

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  2. Hi Leanne! You have an absolutely adorable family! Good for you for tricking them into getting a photo. And I don't blame you for wanting to be with them. I don't miss not having children of my own but I do admit that having grown children that you enjoy being with would be a big pleasure. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy - it is lovely seeing your children making their way happily into the world and seeing bits of yourself in them (only hopefully a slightly improved version) I'm sure you have the next generation that you connect with - just not by blood :)

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  3. That is a lovely photo! I am happy you were able to gather for a long talk and a meal. Hang in there until you see them again. My kids are still at home. Your post makes me want to slow down time a bit. One of my sisters admonishes me to enjoy every age and stage. I will try to embrace the extra-curricular madness of parenting two high schoolers. Hugs to you enjoying your grown-and-flown adult children.

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    1. Yes Karen - enjoy the teenage years. My kids weren't too bad as teenagers and we survived fairly unscathed. Once they move out it's a very relaxing time, but seeing them makes me realize that I do secretly miss them!

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  4. I hope you print this lovely photo as an 8x10 and put it where you see it often! I think being called "family focused" is perhaps the ultimate compliment, especially as you are able to also be so content in your current phase of life! My daughter is home from college right now for just a few weeks, and I am also "storing this time together in my heart." Words couldn't describe it more perfectly!

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    1. Store it all up and enjoy all that mother and daughter bonding time! I am going up to have some mother and daughter togetherness in a couple of weeks because I haven't seen my girl by herself for a long time. We're both looking forward to it. And yes that photo has pride of place on my fridge at the moment :)

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  5. Hi Leanne,
    I'm so happy to see your kids with their spouses in this beautiful photo. It warms my heart to see your family and how close you guys are:) Lovely story
    xx Abby

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    1. thanks Abby - it's a good feeling to see your kids thriving (even if I don't get to see them as often as I'd like) :)

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  6. I have one close and one far away. I miss my son quite a bit, but he calls home as often as he can. He's been all over the world (he's in the military) since he was 18 so I've gotten used to it in the last 8 years. My daughter on the other hand sticks close and we love that. Your children and their spouses are beautiful! You are blessed with a very lovely family.

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    1. thanks Rena - I envy you having a daughter nearby (I keep hinting to mine but she is holding firm!)

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  7. Hi Leanne I know what you mean. My children have flown the nest for quite a while now but I still love seeing them when I can. We are all busy but with my darling grandson I see him and his mum and dad weekly. This Sunday we are having a family get together at my daughter's home so we will all be together in one place for more than 5 mins. Thanks for a lovely post and sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

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    1. make sure you take lots of pictures Sue - maybe you could do a post and we can meet your family too :)

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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